This review contains mild spoilers
Ant-Man doesn’t sting us a world-ending climax like his fellows do (especially those in Avengers: Age of Ultron) but we’re certain there are some reasons why and this following might be one; although we’re given a glimpse of the threat of this particle technology might cause (when it’s abused by wrong hands like Hydra), obviously it’s not happening in near future, at least not in this phase. So why should he be serious now?
Like a neighborhood superhero line, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Yet as long as it comes into a right subject, nothing much to worry about. Fortunately, the technology Pym Tech has developed arrives to someone with good deed. A potential with motivational motive and a set of brilliant handskill and scientific brain who fulfills quality of being an Ant-Man. So if anyone eligible can be an Ant-Man, then what is Ant-Man?
Neither a natural born superhero nor an infected human being, we see Ant-Man is more into a suit equipped with superpowers created by this brilliant scientist, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and anyone embodied by the suit is simply a normal human being but with a superhero-like speed, agility, and acuteness. And to find such human in a normal world, this movie focuses on the 2nd incarnation of Ant-Man while Pym takes role as a mentor.
This movies shows that picking such incarnation might be easy and fun for Pym but mentoring is a different thing. Hence, going through the process of picking, the direction of this movie slightly deviates into a heist plot which fortunately makes everything overall interesting. However, despite the excitement we find, Peyton Reed‘s Ant-Man seems to confuse us whether it’s an epic closing for MCU’s Phase 2 or simply a satisfying standalone Marvel series?
Back then, Ant-Man was originally set to be the opening chapter of Phase 3 instead of closing Phase 2. If it were the first one, Ant-Man would be just safe but the fact it’s the later, Ant-Man is caught in a wrong timing. As a result, although Ant-Man is favorable, it’s criticized for being too light and … humble.
Reed must have known the situation but couldn’t do much but to go on with the plan (even with some script modification) due to Edgar Wright‘s directorial departure. Wright who planned to create an action-adventure-comedy version for his Ant-Man, despite his leaving, we assume has almost got it. Despite whatever awesome Wright planned at the beginning and is finally completed by Reed, the result is no disappointment and in fact really makes us burst out laughing voluntarily.
Instead of applying a similar grande formula which brings up the birth of a super evil A.I Ultron, Ant-Man’s world seems smaller but more entertaining even it means that Ant-Man ends this phase by saving only her daughter from Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll) in a modest kid room and Thomas train set as final battleground. It’s weird but indeed a smart move to draw our attention to this miniscule superhero’s modest character and paternal instinct.
An Exceptional Marvel’s Superhero
We understand that this movie is Ant-Man’s debut on the big screen. Without having knowledge of his origin story, casual moviegoers (especially direct to Scott Lang as incarnation) won’t understand the good and the strength of picking Ant-Man into a live-action. However, focusing on the father-daughter melodrama, not only does Ant-Man literally shrink his size but also the importance of the actual threat. But is putting aside such important issue really a terrible decision? Fortunately, we find it another smart move.
We once were pessimist about what this insect-sized superhero can do apart from the fact he’s the most respected founding father of Avengers. But seeing the visual technology applied to shrink and enlarge our superhero, we’re convinced that suit makes Ant-Man can do anything; from size transformation to secretive infiltration. The suit even makes Ant-Man disappear into a subatomic condition and bring him back to life.
Long story short, without that regulator, whatever Ant-Man does is such a magic (appears and vanishes in sudden) and perhaps can impress a Scarlet Witch. Ant-Man’s suit superpower undoubtedly can break every neck and finally gives us a thought that Ant-Man is truly an exception. He’s unlike other superheroes who show off muscles behind those suits. Ant-Man isn’t that type of superhero saving the world and becomes everyone’s hero. He knows he can’t because he’s simply a hero with heart and responsibility towards his beloved ones. Whatever deals with Avengers matters later.
Technically, he’s a superhero only when he wears the suit but plot-wise he’s a superhero only after he learns how to be one. He’s still a normal guy with social problems. He’s just like others who need a 2nd chance after doing mistakes and his chance to make things right starts when he finds that suit. If it’s a show, he should be put upfront to open and bring up this whole new superhero idea. There’s where the fault lies, wrong timing.
Moreover, heist plot along with Rudd playing Ant-Man, this movie can’t be serious and we indeed find it hard to be. Ever since Rudd was announced to play this role, we’ve predicted the comedic vibe in Rudd will make his Ant-Man less heroic but so much fun and daring. Proven, Rudd delivers a chilling as well as a captivating performance we easily enjoy, even a role of superhero.
Although Ant-Man in fact is the smallest superhero in MCU but we all know he can even goes bigger than the rest. His portrayal is taken by a comedian but we all know that Rudd can also play a serious face. It’s just a matter of time before we see him turning to be that Ant-Man we have in mind; the coolest and the most likable member of Avengers. For now, we’ll just tolerate Ant-Man for being too warm-hearted and unambitious.
Director: Peyton Reed
Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Judy Greer
Duration: 117 mins